Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Let's Get to Know You" Interview Series for RIMQG

We are continuing our series called "Let's Get to Know You!"

Today we'll share an interview with RIMQG member Jill Belisle of Warwick
to get to know her better and gain some insight into how she incorporates
(modern) quilting into her life.....

Let's Get to Know... Jill Belisle

How did you learn to quilt?

      I tried teaching myself at age 16, but I had no idea what I was doing! I cut fabric squares (didn’t measure them to make them uniform) and sewed them together (didn’t know about seam allowances). I also didn’t quilt it, because I didn’t know you were supposed to do that either! It fell apart shortly after completion. I took a long break from sewing until my late twenties, when my friend Leslie Lowenstein (also a member of RIMQG) provided much-needed guidance and instruction. She’s a great teacher!

      What was your first machine?

      My first machine was an old Singer that I inherited from my grandmother (it was probably made in the 50's). That’s the one I used for that disaster of a first quilt. When I started sewing years later, I bought a Bernina Activa 145, which is the machine I still use today.
      Can you tell us about a favorite personal quilt? 

      One of my favorite quilts was the baby quilt I made for my nephew Colin. It could not have been more simple – nine 12-inch squares sewn together in three rows – but I loved making it. It was my first “real” quilt and I remember spending hours at the fabric store picking out just the right colors and patterns.

      What kind of memories does it hold for you?

      I was so proud of that simple little quilt. I had always wanted to give handmade items as gifts, and now I had finally done it! That was the beginning of many, many baby quilts that I have made over the years for friends and family.
      If you were to do this quilt over, would you do anything differently?

      I think I would have tried for a little more contrast with the fabrics. I used a novelty frog print as the main fabric, and the other fabrics I picked were all similar shades of green.
      What is your favorite quilting technique? 

      I really enjoy English paper piecing. I have been working on a quilt that is made from two-inch hexagons for about five years. There are thousands of pieces to be sewn together, and I work on it a little at a time. I don’t know if I will ever finish it, but it’s fun to do!
      Do you follow a Modern Quilter/Blog/Fabric House? Why do you like them

      What tips would you give a new quilter to Modern Quilting?

      I would encourage a new modern quilter to be adventurous, particularly when it comes to free-motion quilting. It’s not as scary as it first seems!
           What is something you love about Rhode Island?

      I love how close everything is. You can go from the city to the country to the shoreline all in the same day. Of course, this sometimes gets me in trouble, because I think I can get anywhere in the state in 20 minutes, which means I end up being unintentionally late for things!

Thank you Jill!  Most of us can appreciate your love of giving away "handmade" gifts.

Interview by Karen McCann, Communications for RIMQG

1 comment:

  1. I loved reading your quilting story, Jill. Aren't you glad you picked it back up again in your 20s? And, Karen, great job with the interview!